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April 2013

ECD’s CarShare Program Launches this Month at Eldridge Place

An innovative idea that could change the way people think about commuting launches this April, when The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare program installs its first two vehicles at BehringerHarvard’s Eldridge Place.

Soon, when commuters using carpools, buses or bicycles need to run an errand while at work – like going to a doctor’s appointment, attending that surprise across-town business meeting or making their child’s teacher conference – they will have CarShare as a convenient option.

The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare program is a fresh approach to reducing traffic congestion in Houston, says John Nunez, Transportation Manager for the Energy Corridor District. “By giving people mobility options at work, we can encourage the use of carpooling, vanpooling and other traffic-mitigating methods,” Nunez explains. 

Even before its official launch, the program is drawing attention. The CarShare site was a tour stop for attendees from a global Urban Land Institute forum, while the Houston Chronicle featured CarShare and Eldridge Place on the front page of its business section.

The vehicles – supplied by Enterprise CarShare – use technology that makes it easy to locate, reserve and access a shared car online without calling a reservation agent. Commuters can simply register online, reserve a CarShare vehicle, and then stroll down to the designated, first-level parking spaces at Eldridge Place to get their ride.

BehringerHarvard’s Eldridge Place is the first CarShare site for what The Energy Corridor District hopes will be many. The District’s CarShare effort is unique – one of the first of its kind that shares vehicles among employees from different companies. Most car share efforts involve universities, single government agencies or sole companies.

“The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare is designed to empower people from a wide variety of companies who can use carpooling and other traffic-mitigating programs,” Nunez explains. “With CarShare, they can now borrow a shared vehicle while at work, making an office-day trip to the dentist possible. It’s a program that helps reduce the obstacles people have about carpooling.”

Eldridge Place – with thousands of employees working throughout 823,000 square feet of Class A office space – makes an ideal site for the first CarShare installation, says Nunez.

“It’s an exciting launch pad for CarShare,” says Nunez. “BerhingerHarvard has provided very convenient locations for the vehicles. CarShare participants should find the program easy, even fun to use.”

Ultimately, The Energy Corridor District hopes CarShare can help reduce traffic congestion during peak commuting hours, while decreasing emissions that cause greenhouse gases, explains Nunez.  

The Energy Corridor District and the Houston-Galveston Area Council, through grant funds provided by the Federal Transportation Administration, are providing financial incentives in the form of reduced car share costs and free hourly rental driving credits.

For more information about The Energy Corridor District’s CarShare program, please visit energycorridor.org/carshare, or contact John Nunez at (281) 759-3800 or jnunez@energycorridor.org.

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